Ladbrokes is defending itself against complaints that a recent Iron Man 3-themed promotion targeted children with a novel argument; Iron Man is for adults.

The provocative, and actually quite logical, statement came after the UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) suggested that Ladbrokes’ used of Iron Man images went against rules prohibiting gambling ads from targeting underage customers.

Ladbrokes fought on behalf of the e-mail, which went out on May 4, by pointing out to the ASA that not only were most Iron Man fans adults, but that they had the data to back their claim. According to a report on Gambling911, Ladbrokes referred the ASA to a survey taken at a recent ComiCon that suggested the Iron Man demographic skewed adult.

Besides, Ladrokes added, their e-mails only go out to parties 18 and over so by rights, they were not targeting children.

Never one to loosen its stiff upper lip, the ASA wouldn’t budge from its original argument. They backed their argument with a bit of iron-clad adult logic saying:

We understood that Iron Man was a popular character that would appeal to many adults but considered its comic book nature, and the availability of various related toys, meant it was likely to have particular appeal to children and young people.

We therefore concluded that the ad breached the code.

Not surprisingly, the yeah-but-there-are-Iron-Man-toys argument did not sit well with Ladbrokes. According to a report from the BBC, the company issued a statement saying that they were aware of the ASA’s ruling, but they aren’t willing to give up just yet.

They went on to say that they would likely appeal the ruling by requesting an independent review of the case.

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